Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall is here!

Of course you wouldn't know it by the weather yesterday. 81 degrees! Wow! But it did get me outside after work and I mowed, weed whacked and trimmed the bushes out front. I'm having an open house on Sunday and want things to look nice so this is a step in the right direction. Of course the week is going to go progressively down hill and become rainy and cooler - but it's okay I like fall and the leaves are starting to turn already.

My neighbor (really the only house that is side by side with me) just got all new windows in her house. It's part of a local assistance program to help weatherize some of the older homes. Her old windows were very leaky and I had tried to help with plastic but it just wasn't doing the job - so thanks to the Mohawk Valley Community Action Center, she has new windows and new doors. And this is the best part for her - she can open her windows and get fresh air all of the time, before she could only open her bedroom windows in the front of the house. But here is the funny part. I was in my living room (farthest from her house) and I hear "Michelle, Can you hear me?" - it was my neighbor yelling from her dining room window that looks into my kitchen (our houses are a mere 15 feet apart - maybe). She was just curious if I would be able to hear her if she called - we don't need a phone anymore! lol

My brother is in from Texas - we'll have dinner tonight or Thursday night with RB. Pretty cool. My other brother is turning the BIG 40! I wonder how he's handling it? My birthday is soon and I'll be 44 - I'm not at all impressed with that number.

I have some pictures to upload soon. They are of Otter Lake this past summer - really nice - early morning pics. Fog on the lake - shadows and sun - peaceful.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stuff I'm learning - thanks to RB

About 2 weeks ago RB told me that he had to work on the boat motor - I told him that I would love to help and would he be willing to teach me. He thought that it was a good idea and seemed very enthusiastic. So - I went over there - the plan was to replace the Condensers (14) and Breaker Assembly (9,10 and 11).
1958 Evinrude Motor schematic
It was a great learning experience and RB isn't the type to tell you what he is doing and have you watch him the whole time - he explains what does what and hands me the tools! That is awesome!!! I take apart computers all the time and no one taught me how - I just do it, sometimes doing well and other times - LOL - not so well - but I do know how to handle tools for the most part. So we changed both condensers and both breaker assemblies - I was able to do quite a bit - but didn't have the hand strength and coordination in order pinch the breakers assems. in just the right way to get them into the space they needed to be in. And then there is a part where you have to measure the width between them - I don't remember all the terminology - but they have to be a sliver apart - and yes it's an exact measurement and RB and I worked as a team to make it all work together - VERY COOL! In the end we got it back together and it started up like a dream - of course it didn't solve all of the problems, but it seemed to have helped.

My second 'lessons' came today. RB had to replace the passenger side front brake calipers on his truck and I needed new sway bar links in my car - we did his truck first - other than a few tight nuts and stuff - that was relatively easy.  I have to admit that RB did 90 percent of this job - I did help with taking off and putting on the tire (lug nuts and air tool!!!)
Caliper for his truck

My car on the other hand was a great test. LOL - of so many things. The nuts that held the old sway bar links were in so tight that nothing would get them undone. We had an air gun and every other conceivable tool to try to loosen them and we finally had to go to heat. A torch that is - and daaannnnngggggg that gets mighty hot. We were able to get them out - the new ones in - that were much better! The ones I picked up can be lubed - so hopefully they last longer - my car eats sway bar links.
Sway bar links - These are the Moog ones that allow you to grease them!

I learned how to handle an air gun - fairly well. Can get most lug nuts off - I had one on each tire that were freakin ridiculous! RB had to get the big guns out - those would be his awesomely strong arms! I got good and figuring out what size tools we would need at what point and didn't whine when I got a big streak of grease across my face. I figure this is all a good lesson for later in life when I can't afford to go to the mechanic anymore!

Thanks RB for all the good lessons in the last few weeks - you are a good teacher and hopefully I'm becoming an apt pupil!

So - I'm looking forward to my next lesson  - who knows what it will be! Maybe welding next!